August 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
For my mom’s birthday in June, our whole family gathered in New York City for a dinner at Craftbar, Tom Colicchio’s restaurant known for its shared plates (large and small) concept. The menu changes pretty regularly, so I’m not sure what’s still available and what’s no longer in season, but it was a memorable food-filled meal and made me really appreciate how wonderful it is to have family so close by, making it easy for everyone to come together to celebrate special occasions such as this.
Funny note: two days later, some of us from work went to an AALDEF reception at a nearby lounge called Crimson and without intending to do so, I found myself eating another huge dinner at Craftbar within three days. On the plus side, eating there once before meant I already knew which dishes were standouts and which we could pass up.
Cocktails to start, one of which I remember being called a Flying Unicorn and the other I recall being shockingly citrusy (in a good way)
Pecorino Fonduta – Acacia honey, pepperoncini, pine nuts, and crostini
Everyone loved this dish – melted cheese, sweet and floral honey, and crunchy pine nuts are kind of a no-brainer.
Salt cod croquettes + piperade (a Basque-influenced mixture of peppers, onions, tomatoes, and spices)
These, like the arancini, had the perfect contrast between a crunchy, fried exterior and creaminess within. My mom was a huge fan of the vinegary, spicy peppers underneath and scraped every last bit off the plate.
Pecorino arancini with spicy tomato
Scotch quail eggs with mustard – something I thought I’d love due to their fried state but there actually wasn’t much flavor aside from the mustard
Spring asparagus, crostini, poached farm egg, and cheese
Sheep’s milk ricotta ravioli with spring vegetables – this dish, though delicious sounding, was for some reason incredibly sweet
Duck hearts and dumplings – duck egg, pearl onions, smoked bacon and black garlic
Atlantic halibut with summer squash and some kind of reduction (the menu has since changed)
A veritable pork-apalooza for 2 – roasted chops, pig’s feet roulade, loin, and, of course, chicharron with fingerling potatoes, baby onions, and carrots. Absolutely coma-inducing but totally worth it.
Cheesecake with sour cherry sorbet and pistachio brittle
Sweet pea semifreddo, lemon confit, and an ice cream flavor I don’t remember (honey maybe?)
In the end, Craftbar was a great choice – really friendly and helpful service, a casual and relaxed atmosphere, and excellent food for the most part. I think it’s particularly suited for larger groups, where you can order a bunch of different dishes and try as many things as possible. Another plus is its close proximity to Madison Square Park, where you can then (attempt to) walk off some of your dinner. Or, as my sisters did, get frozen custard from Shake Shack. Girls will be girls.
New York, NY 10003